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Funct Integr Genomics. 2012 Mar;12(1):183-98. doi: 10.1007/s10142-011-0241-4. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Transcriptional regulation of defence genes and involvement of the WRKY transcription factor in arbuscular mycorrhizal potato root colonization.

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Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Earth and Life Institute, Mycology, Place croix du Sud 2 bte L7.05.06, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


The establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizal associations causes major changes in plant roots and affects significantly the host in term of plant nutrition and resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses. As a consequence, major changes in root transcriptome, especially in plant genes related to biotic stresses, are expected. Potato microarray analysis, followed by real-time quantitative PCR, was performed to detect the wide transcriptome changes induced during the pre-, early and late stages of potato root colonization by Glomus sp. MUCL 41833. The microarray analysis revealed 526 up-regulated and 132 down-regulated genes during the pre-stage, 272 up-regulated and 109 down-regulated genes during the early stage and 734 up-regulated and 122 down-regulated genes during the late stage of root colonization. The most important class of regulated genes was associated to plant stress and in particular to the WRKY transcription factors genes during the pre-stage of root colonization. The expression profiling clearly demonstrated a wide transcriptional change during the pre-, early and late stages of root colonization. It further suggested that the WRKY transcription factor genes are involved in the mechanisms controlling the arbuscular mycorrhizal establishment by the regulation of plant defence genes.

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